European Parliament Approves Netflix Content Quota

Netflix's Spanish series 'Cable Girls'

Under the new guidelines, 30 percent of all content carried on streaming services in Europe will have to come from the region.

The European Parliament has approved new regulations for online streaming services, imposing a quota for home-grown productions on Netflix and co.

The guidelines will require that at least 30 percent of content carried on streaming services operating in the European Union originates from the region. On-demand platforms are also being asked to contribute to the development of European films and TV series, either by directly investing in content or by contributing to national subsidies. The level of contribution in each country should be proportional to the on-demand revenues in that country.

The updated directive, which applies to local and pan-European broadcasters as well as SVOD players and the likes of Facebook and YouTube, also calls for increased protection of children “from violence, hatred, terrorism and harmful advertising” on streaming platforms. The directive includes a requirement that services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime act quickly when content is reported or flagged by users as harmful, and introduces strict new rules on advertising and product placement in kids’ content.

Advertising can take up a maximum of 20 percent of the daily broadcasting period between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. In the primetime window of 6 p.m. to midnight, advertising can take up a maximum of 20 percent of total broadcasting time.

The new regulations now go to the Council of EU ministers for formal approval before they are sent to individual member states that will have two years to enforce them.

Netflix and Amazon, anticipating the legal shift, have already made moves to increase their local production in Europe. Amazon this week unveiled a new slate of European programs, while Netflix has rolled out plans for new production hubs in France and Spain.